It’s not all that surprising to see NFL teams bring in local, undrafted talented following that year’s draft. It’s usually a nice thing to do, especially for locally-grown talent that may just need that one last shot to make their dreams come true.
This year, one of those local boys signed by the Chargers is USC offensive guard Chris Brown, a 6-foot-5, 310-pound product from the heart of Los Angeles.
Just based on the eye test, Brown offers an NFL-ready frame that may already be maxed-out. He possesses massive arms and a thick lower-body. However, looks are slightly deceiving with him as his testing numbers from USC’s pro day are quite underwhelming.
With pro day numbers also known for being fairly bias towards the players, his measurements seem even more disappointing. Brown ran the forty-yard dash in 5.48 seconds which would have ranked him around the bottom of those at the NFL Combine. His 21 reps on the bench would have been in the bottom half for his position, as well. His 29-inch vertical and 9-foot broad jump help round out a pretty “meh” athletic profile.
It’s common knowledge that head coach Anthony Lynn wants athletic guards for his power-heavy run game, and someone like Brown just doesn’t fit that archetype. However, the stout guard still found plenty of success during his two years as a starter, showing he can overcome his shortcomings to get the job done.
lol at this block by USC's Chris Brown (LG no. 77). Blows Stanford DT so far inside his LT can't even reach him to double team. pic.twitter.com/5NaEkSYuiE— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) September 13, 2017
Above is a clip from his 2017 season against Stanford. Following that season, Brown was named the team’s Offensive Linemen of the Year. If plays like this were the norm for him, than that fact is not so surprising. Brown can win at the point of attack and thrives when given the chance to ear-hole his defenders on down blocks. This helps when play-side of gap and power runs but the flip-side of this is when he is the one tasked to pull and kick-out, he struggles getting out of his stance and gaining enough speed to blowup unsuspecting defenders.
Chris Brown – USC Guard— PFF LA Chargers (@PFF_Chargers) April 30, 2019
6'5" 310 lbs.
▪️85.9 Pass-Block Grade (2nd among PAC12 Gs)
▪️2,268 Career Snaps Played
▪️1 Sack Allowed in 2018 pic.twitter.com/5KBts5BZlK
Some other noteworthy stats for Brown include an 85.9 Pass-Block Grade by Pro Football Focus that ranked him second among Pac-12 guards in 2018. He also only allowed a single sack during his final season in southern California.
Brown comes to the Chargers with a healthy amount of experience, having started three games his first two years at USC before starting every game during his junior and senior seasons.
Athleticism be damned, if Brown can impress during camp and continue to succeed in spite of his lesser-athleticism, there just might be a spot for him come September.